Elderly Indian Jesuit's bail postponed amid concerns.
Feb 19 UCA News
A special court is set to pronounce its verdict on the bail application of an elderly Indian Jesuit activist five months after his arrest and detention on charges of sedition. The special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the federal anti-terror agency, has set March 2 to announce the result of the bail application of 84-year-old Father Stan Swamy. “We are happy that finally the court has fixed a date for announcing its order on the bail application,” said Father A. Santhanam, a Jesuit lawyer based in Tamil Nadu state who is following the case. Rights activists are concerned that the sick priest’s bail is being delayed for political reasons. He has been denied bail several times since he was arrested on Oct. 8 from his residence in Ranchi, capital of eastern India’s Jharkhand state, and detained in a jail in Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra state. Father Swamy applied for regular bail on Nov. 26 after his first bail application...
Christian Forum expresses anguish over Daman administration’s anti-secular circular.
Feb 17 Matters India
The United Christian Forum has urged the administration and the Directorate of Education of Daman to immediately withdraw a circular making veneration of goddess Saraswati compulsory in all schools under the Union Territory in western India. “The Christian community in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu are at pain and in anguish with the directive of Directorate of Education, Daman, for making the celebration of Vasant Panchami mandatory by venerating Goddess Saraswati,” the forum, an ecumenical body said in a statement. The Vasanth Panchami, also called Saraswati Puja, fell on February 16 this year. The festival marks the preparation for the arrival of spring. It also marks the start of preparation for Holika and Holi, which take place forty days later. The Vasant Utsava (festival) on Panchami is celebrated forty days before Spring...
28, mostly Christians, booked under MP’s anti-conversion ordinance.
Feb 15 Matters India
Chhatar Singh Katre, a teacher in a small village school run by the government in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat district organized a get-together and a prayer meet on January 27. The occasion, his daughter said, was to celebrate her college admission. Before the program started, the police reached the spot, and detained Katre, and his friends Mahendra Nagdeva J Nathan; all three were taken to the police station for interrogation, and subsequently arrested for luring and coercing people for conversion. All three remain in jail, their bail pleas having been rejected by the Balaghat sessions court. Katre’s daughter Kalyani Katre said, “My father organized the meet for me and now he is in jail for no reason. The case was registered against him and two others on the complaint of a person who was booked 10 years ago for assaulting and harassing my father and others..."